The Potty Party

Log this post under Parenting 101. I’m letting you in on what’s going on in the Hale house, and hoping to start a discussion that will help some of my mom-friends.

In case you haven’t read my profile, lemme drop some Jennifer K. Hale basics on you. I am the mother of two young boys, ages 5 and 2.

We’ve recently started talking “potty” around the house again, preparing the 2 year old to ditch the diapers and graduate up to the Mickey Mouse & Thomas underwear.

In fact, for two days last week I started the potty training process, but after disasters both days, I quit. I think he’s still too young.

My oldest was nearly 3 before he was fully trained, so I’m not worried about my 2 year old. He’ll get there.

But when I was first thinking about potty-training my oldest, I did a lot of worrying about “how long” the process should take, “how old” was an appropriate age, and just “how to” do it.

All things considered, when I buckled down and did 4 straight days of nothing but hard-core potty time, my oldest was in dry underwear with no accidents and we never looked back.

Some friends and I were discussing the whole potty training issue over dinner the other night. (My, how girl-talk changes when the kiddos come along!) Several of us all had baby boys within a few months of each other, and one of those little guys, only 2, is completely potty trained, setting the bar pretty high for the rest of his buds. One of my friends hasn’t started the potty training process at all, so we were discussing techniques, incentives, and appropriate expectations.

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • I don’t think it’s a good idea to push potty training on a kid who’s too young.
  • Letting my son “shoot” things in the toilet (like cereal) worked great for him.
  • Pull-ups are a lot like diapers. Some kids don’t feel the difference and won’t treat a Pull-up any differently, so sometimes just going straight to real undies works best.
  • Expecting your kid to be day-trained and night-trained at the same time isn’t a realistic expectation.
  • If you really want your kid to get it, you’ve got to be willing to stay home and work on nothing but potty-training for a few days. (For working moms, this might work best over a long weekend or holiday.)
  • My boys always preferred to be on the “big potty” rather than a plastic, small one, so we got one of the little seats that sits on the real toilet. 

P.S. Obviously I have no idea what it’s like to train a girl. I hear they are easier and potty train earlier. If you have a daughter– lucky you. 🙂

Share with Me: How old were your kids when they were potty trained? What are your potty training secrets?


Filed under Parenting

9 responses to “The Potty Party

  1. Oh man, I hated the potty training process! I waited until he was at least 3, and it took several months. But that was more my fault than anything else…Our lives were crazy with my sister's heart transplant and I didn't have time to focus. When we finally had our breakthrough, my mom and sister were living with us, so my mom could watch the baby so I could focus on the potty training. I'm sooo glad it's over! I'm curious to see how my daughter's experience plays out…but not for a while. 🙂

  2. Hey Jen! We were lazy with the potty training for Carsyn…she was almost 4! The one advantage to that was it only took 2 days and she was day/night trained at the end of it! After Caden turned 3 (and a few failed attempts by mommy), Carsyn decided he needed to learn to use the "big-boy" potty. I, in all my mommy superiority, laughingly told her to have it. Much to my chagrin she had him fully trained (night and day) in 3 days! So maybe you should let Hagan take over!!

  3. Getting to "shoot things" in the toilet is the only reason I ever go indoors. 🙂

  4. I agree with you. I did pull ups at night, but during the day they went dry underwear and yes I think my boy was harder to train than my daughter, but it might be because he's lazier than her and less motivated! lolShe was fully potty trained (no lie) at 18 months and wearing underwear to bed at night a little after that. But she's always been motivated, competitive, and "grown".My son was almost 3 before he was day potty trained. He's 7, and sometimes at night, he still has accident. I never pushed either one of them. I encouraged both. I also worked harder with my son b/c I managed a childcare center when my daughter was young and I have to give her toddler teachers snaps for the training. I pretty much did nothing. 🙂 I paid for it later with Myles. lol

  5. I love how everyone has their own style of making this life stage work!By the way, I'd like to point out that this is the first post my husband has ever commented on. Ever. Way to go, honey. Good choice.

  6. I'm potty training too, but finding it hard when you go out anywhere. I should just make sure she goes before we go out and go as soon as we get somewhere. Easier said than done though. Great with nothing on, not so much with underwear. I'm finding just leggings on is working well, but who does that?Oh well, good luck!

  7. my daughter was trained right at 3, and only then because we moved, death of a grandpa and traveling while still trying to learn….i believe i threatened her with being left on the airplane if she had an accident in the air. as cruel as this was, it totally worked. she told the flight attendant, "if i have an accident, i'll get left on the plane." i thought CWS was going to be waiting on us when we got out of the plane….jeanniethe character therapist

  8. Here is what I have come to learn – there were a few things I could not make my son do: talk, eat, sleep and go to the bathroom. Thus at age 2 my song still had very few words, despite my trying my hardest. At 3 he ate a handful of foods, despite my best efforts to have him do otherwise. He did not sleep through the night until Kindergarten – and the only medication that has ever made him sleep was phenegran. And potty training took FOREVER. I had so much peer pressure from everywhere. It was not like I was happy that at 3.5 my son was still sporting pull-ups (the diapers not longer fit, PreK required a pull-up). I even did the boot-camp, but when every 10 minutes he came up with wet underwear and I didn't know where he'd gone? I waved a red flag. So The Boy did not fully day train until a few weeks before his 4th birthday. I like to let parents I work with know that there is not 'right' age. There will be potty training 'scholars' and there will those that it takes a bit longer for it to sink in.And there is no shame in not being night trained. When you are 7 and still have to wear something at night it's not always an issue of not being 'trained' – for us it is more because of a sleep issue. Makes sleep-overs a bit trickier. But I am confident when he goes to college he will have this thing down pat.

  9. All of you are right on the money about not being able to "force" a kid to train before they are ready. I think a lot of moms try too soon and get really frustrated.

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